Soccer great tips FC Platinum $500 000 at stake in Chibuku Cup
FORGOTTEN Zimbabwean football legend Godfrey Paradza has tipped FC Platinum to go all the way to the final of the 2016 edition of the $500 000 Chibuku Super Cup which roars into life at Rufaro Stadium tomorrow. Troubled sides, Harare City — who are the holders — and Border Strikers get the ball rolling tomorrow afternoon with the rest of the first round matches getting underway over the weekend. FC Platinum take on Chapungu in a Midlands derby at Mandava Stadium on Saturday. Pa r a d z a , a product of the Highlanders junior policy but a Zimbabwe Saints and Dynamos legend, believes the Norman Mapeza-coached side have the pedigree to reach the final and even lift the trophy but did not rule out the country’s traditional giants Highlanders, Dynamos and Caps United.
“FC Platinum are playing good football, they have been consistent at the top and I feel if they carry their league form, no one will stop them. It’s a complete side really. Caps United have also been doing well and I wouldn’t be surprised if they do well too but my money is on FC Platinum,” said Paradza who began his football career under the legendary juniors coach Ali “Baba” Dube. He played alongside the likes of Netsai Moyo, Oliver Ncube, the late Willard Mashinkila-Khumalo in the famous Liverpool (Bosso Under-16) side.
He later played for Zimbabwe Saints’ senior side at the tender age of 17 where he was called into the Zimbabwe Under-20 after only two games.
Paradza was to join Dynamos, winning the league title with the Glamour Boys in 1991. His senior national team career began at 18 when he understudied James Takavada.
“While my bet is on FC Platinum, ruling out Bosso and DeMbare will be suicidal, these are giants of local football and their vast experience can play a big part in this cup. Bosso are even psyched up by their double over DeMbare and would want to spice that up with this trophy which can be a double because they are still in the running for the league title,” said Paradza.
Winners of the cup will represent Zimbabwe in the Caf Confederation Cup and Harare giants Dynamos have already declared their intention of making a return to Africa. They take on How Mine on Sunday in one of the toughest first round encounters of the tournament.
Amahlolanyama play host to buoyant Mutare City whose coach Taku Shariwa has made a public proclamation that they are coming for a double, having beaten Bosso 2-1 in a league encounter.